Three of COR’s Service Providers had the opportunity to attend the 2023 Conference on Crimes Against Women (CCAW). The CCAW covers many different topics across many different professions, some of them being law enforcement, advocates, prosecution, forensic nurses, and of course, mental health professionals. The CCAW draws attention to how these crimes are seen by these professions and brings light to the issues surrounding how these crimes are handled. Many of these issues are surrounded by myths and misconceptions such as, violent crimes against women are random and perpetrated by strangers or the behavior of the victim causes these crimes to happen.
Caleb Green stated his biggest take away from the CCAW is the need to teach our young men about these issues. No one wants their daughter to be a victim, nor do they want to see their son be the perpetrator. This is not a problem just facing women. This is a problem facing all people. Creating a change starts with educating young men not to fall into the thoughts that lead to these actions.
Ashton Ohde noted the importance of being trauma informed when working with victims, as well as to appropriately investigate offenders. During the conference, many presentations were pointed towards the need for appropriate prosecution and education for juries on these topics. There was also discussion of resources that were not being used appropriately in the investigation of perpetrators.
Amanda Milander-Mace valued the information around the need for combined efforts across all the above listed professions. Many times, victims require trauma informed care. They also need an ally to make sure their story is heard along with the need to process their own thoughts of what has happened to them. How the system handles perpetrators requires a team effort as professionals have to be prepared to provide expert information for juries to make informed decisions. Over the 4 days at the CCAW, the team learned how to work with both victims and perpetrators in a trauma informed manor. The team hopes to apply this information and help educate the communities they serve of the issues and needs surrounding these topics.